Truck accidents are far more complicated than car crashes, as a lot more players are involved. In a car accident case, there are typically only three parties involved: the victim, the person responsible for the crash, and the insurance company. However, in a truck accident, there are more parties involved, including the company for which the trucker drives.
In car crashes, usually only one person is at fault for the accident. However, in a truck crash, not only can the victim make a claim against the truck driver, but also possibly take action against the driver’s trucking company. Some companies are guilty of negligent acts, allowing their drivers to engage in risky behavior. With the help of a truck accident attorney, you may be able to prove your accident was caused by such company negligence and receive the compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Truck Company Negligence
Although the truck driver may have been the person behind the wheel when your accident occurred, he may not be entirely to blame for the crash. The company for which he works may also be responsible for any negligence that took place and caused the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to prove the trucking company is responsible for these types of negligence:
- Hours-of-service violations. In order to protect truck drivers and other motorists, the federal government created an hours-of-service mandate which includes rules and regulations that drivers and trucking companies must follow. Some regulations cover how long a driver is able to work before taking a break, and how often he must rest between shifts. A driver may violate these rules to make a deadline, and the company may turn a blind eye to the violation in order to achieve its bottom line. If an attorney can prove an hours-of-service violation is the reason for the crash, both the driver and company accountable.
- Negligent hiring practices. Driving a semi is a huge responsibility, and only the best drivers should operate these massive vehicles. When trucking companies are desperate for employees, they may overlook driver faults in order to have enough personnel to make their businesses run. As a result, they may hire individuals with poor driving records; histories of drug and alcohol abuse; criminal convictions; incomplete or inaccurate log books; and other driving infractions. When drivers with these imperfect backgrounds cause accidents, the trucking company could be to blame for negligent hiring practices.
- Failure to maintain vehicles. Trucks with mechanical issues due to improper maintenance are accident-prone. For example, tires that blow out and brakes that don’t respond are often the result of neglect. Trucking companies are usually responsible for this maintenance, and if employers don’t provide the proper upkeep, the vehicle may malfunction. Victims of truck accidents may be able to hold trucking companies responsible for damages if vehicle malfunction is proven to be the cause.
- Failure to train employees. Professional drivers need basic knowledge of how to operate large trucks. However, trucking companies are responsible to provide proper training on how to use their particular trucks, safety measures, operation laws and regulations, and safe driving techniques. If an accident was caused because of a company’s failure to properly train its employees, it may be found guilty of negligence.
The Truck Company May Deny Any Wrongdoing
It’s not uncommon for a trucking company to place blame entirely on a driver. It may claim the driver actually isn’t an employee of the company, but an independent contractor, and therefore, the company isn’t responsible for the crash. A trucking company may also claim it doesn’t own the truck or other equipment involved in the crash, but rents it, and can’t be held accountable. An experienced truck accident attorney has the skills to determine if the trucking company is negligent, and help you receive potential compensation. Schedule your free appointment with the attorneys of Kennedy Law Firm, LLP and find out if we can help you with your claim.